MSi's carved a name for itself in gaming gear. So, it's no surprise that they're keeping in step with the competition with a notebook that's a sign of the times: light and powerful to allow you to step up your game - whether for work or, well, an actual game. One of its latest offerings is the MSi Prestige PS42 8RB. There's only one configuration of this machine in the Middle East, and you may just like it.
This notebook has a 14-inch display, with a full brightness setting I like for not being strenuous on the eyes. The bezels around it are thin but not slim enough; slicing it halfway would've probably won my vote. The bottom bezel is about an inch thick and seems to give the illusion of major dead-pixel space there. Further below the bottom of the display is the front camera (the positioning of which is a hit or miss for the other party) and the speaker grill is right above the keyboard.
As for build, it has a hair-brushed metal finish that's really sleek - but I have some beef with it. First, the display isn't rock-steady; while carrying it half-open, I felt like I could easily push my fingers through the lower portion of the display, creating some wobble. It seems like a real firm push (or any other force, accident or otherwise) could likely dismantle this machine. The display isn't exactly buttery-smooth to open or close either. If you try to open it using the corners, you can see it bend a bit. I know MSi is tough, but it still gives one that anxious feeling.
It comes with a rather generous mix of physical connectivity, including two USB-A ports, an SD card reader, an HDMI slot, a 3.5mm audio jack and two USB-C ports. (For good measure, a Kensington lock is also included.) The USB-A ports mean this isn't the thinnest notebook out there, but its lightweight build may make up for that. The trackpad, meanwhile, is a bit small compared to others, and any more than 2-3 gestures could pose a problem. While it does respond well to taps and swipes, pressing it will require extra force (why?!). On its upper-left-hand corner is a fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello.
Inside, you've got an impressive spec line-up; the model we have boasts 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD (split into two partitions), Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics and an 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8550U chip. Now, both the MX150 and Core i7 aren't exactly the latest, but they do give enough oomph to get this notebook running smoothly. I encountered zero lags as I blitzed through stuff, and it handled online games with ease. To prove MSi's confidence in this bad boy, it actually promotes some of the top graphics applications along with it, including Adobe's Photoshop and Lightroom, PaintShop, Xara and CorelDraw.
Battery life is more than capable of getting you through a day (MSi claims 10 hours). In our standard one-hour YouTube-at-full-brightness test, the device lost 18 per cent and 13 per cent of juice in best performance and best battery life modes, respectively. It also doesn't heat up; during the DotA 2 run specifically, the cooling system did a great job of keeping the heat down, with throttling at a minimum.
Pound-for-pound, the MSi Prestige PS42 8RB is a mean machine. I found no performance issues and like its overall design. I'm concerned about the wobbly lid that will require extra care. At a price that is middling - its lower- or similar-specced counterparts cost about the same - you can say it's a fair deal.
8th-generation 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U, quad-core
Nvidia GeForce MX150, 4GB GDDR5
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2; USB-A (2), USB-C (2), HDMI, SD card reader, 3.5mm audio, Kensington lock
322 x 222 x 15.9mm; 1.19kg
Practically lag-free; great battery; sleek design; fair price
Wobbly lid; hit-or-miss webcam positioning; iffy trackpad